Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: NICK BENNETT Nick Bennett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

It’s in­ter­est­ing to me that when asked to ob­serve my think­ing and then asked who is do­ing the ob­serv­ing that I strug­gled to an­swer.

“Me” as the im­me­di­ate an­swer then begs the ques­tion: who is this “me”? This philo­soph­i­cal and in­ter­nal in­quiry is chal­leng­ing. It means we have to open doors into our self, our be­hav­iour, at­ti­tudes and be­liefs that can cre­ate a sense of discomfort and dis­quiet as our bi­ases, per­cep­tions and pre­oc­cu­pa­tions are ex­posed.

It is far eas­ier to push away and dis­tract our­selves with more mun­dane and less threat­en­ing think­ing than it is to open our­selves up to see our true self – the light and the dark.

The ben­e­fit of ques­tion­ing your­self and your re­ac­tions or re­sponses pro­vides a real op­por­tu­nity to iden­tify, un­lock and let go (if you choose) var­i­ous lim­it­ing be­liefs that you have ac­quired, ac­crued and ac­tu­ated to pro­tect your ‘self’ and en­able you to live the gift of life we have all been given to its fullest.

If we live life in fear of what may hap­pen, or fear what oth­ers may think, or are afraid to make a mis­take, how can we truly thrive?

When you get over the fear of dy­ing and the fear of living, you cre­ate the awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence of tak­ing the lead in ev­ery as­pect of your life and – as Maya An­gelou de­scribes – “to do so with some pas­sion, some com­pas­sion, some hu­mour and some style”.

We know that death is in­evitable and know­ing that, and ac­cept­ing it, makes living each day that we are here a greater ex­pe­ri­ence than the day be­fore.

For each day we are here we are one day closer to that out­come. No one gets out of here alive and to­mor­row is promised to no one.

As that is the case, then em­brace the rich­ness that each chal­lenge brings, find the sim­ple joys in the day, ac­knowl­edge the good in your­self and en­gage with grat­i­tude that you’re still here.

Find what gives your life mean­ing and pur­pose, and gen­uinely seek it out. It isn’t a dif­fi­cult thing to do. We have no con­trol over any­thing but our­selves in this world so, while it does re­quire ef­fort to change the self-talk and con­di­tion­ing that we con­tinue to reaf­firm to our­selves, it’s just an op­por­tu­nity to prac­tise and im­prove who we want to be­come. Think about it like driv­ing a car. You don’t go

where the car takes you, you drive the car where you want to go with a clear idea of that des­ti­na­tion. Life’s like that.

“My mis­sion in life is not merely to sur­vive, but to thrive; and to do so with some pas­sion, some com­pas­sion, some hu­mour and some style.” – Maya An­gelou

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